Huobi Chooses Singapore, Plans Further Expansion to Europe in 2023
The news was revealed by Huobi’s co-founder Du Jun, according to a report by Bloomberg on Tuesday (Nov. 30, 2021). Jun noted that Southeast Asia was an attractive market for cryptocurrency businesses due to the fact that the number of traders in the region has quadrupled within one month.
Although Huobi was founded in China, the platform announced back in September that it would stop servicing users in Mainland China by December 31, 2021. The crypto exchange already stopped registration for new accounts.
Huobi’s decision to offload Chinese users came amid the crackdown on the crypto industry in China. The country continues to maintain a hostile approach towards the emerging sector, with the Chinese government reinforcing its ban on crypto trading and extending a negative attitude to bitcoin mining.
The cryptocurrency exchange giant later moved its spot trading operations to Gibraltar, as part of efforts to completely leave China. According to Jun, choosing Gibraltar fits into the needs of the platform.
Meanwhile, Huobi picking Singapore as its regional headquarters is interesting, considering that the company announced earlier in November plans to stop offering services to Singapore-based users by the end of March 2022. Huobi also advised users in the city-state to close their positions and withdraw assets before the deadline.
An excerpt from the announcement said:
“To comply with the laws of Singapore, we will have to include Singapore as a restricted jurisdiction. Regrettably, this means Huobi Global can no longer offer services to Singapore-based users.”
Apart from Singapore, Huobi is also considering setting up another regional headquarters either in the United Kingdom or France, according to its co-founder. Jun stated that this decision would happen in 2023.
Singapore Attracts More Crypto Businesses
Singapore crypto regulatory policies continue to attract cryptocurrency firms to the island city-state. In September, top crypto financial services provider, Babel Finance, set up a business headquarters in Singapore.
The CEO of Babel Finance Flex Yang, notes that Singapore’s hard stance against money laundering will ensure that the platform is compliant, thereby making the cryptocurrency market appealing to traditional investors. Yang added:
“Singapore’sdependable legal system, prestigious wealth management industry, and pioneering approach to crypto regulation make it an excellent launchpad for a business headquarters.”
In January 2020, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) established the Payment Services Act (PSA), which was later upgraded in January 2021 to include cryptocurrency providers.
Research has also shown that there is a high interest in crypto among Singaporeans. A survey published by the Australian crypto exchange Independence Reserve back in July showed that 43% of respondents were cryptocurrency holders.
The survey also revealed that 74% of crypto owners grew their wealth by investing in crypto, while nearly 50 percent of those surveyed said they were planning to go into crypto investment in the next year.